Support for local business, community main focus of Sartell state of city

SARTELL — At the monthly Sartell Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday afternoon, Sartell mayor Ryan Fitzthum addressed local business owners and leaders and reflected on his past year in office at his annual state of the city address.

"Sartell's economic development vision is to support our Sartell businesses so aggressively, that they wouldn't want to be anywhere but here, support our businesses so much that when new businesses are looking to add locations, they pick Sartell because of the overwhelming city, chamber and community support," he said. "This issue came to light from our staff and council maybe two years ago. And it's been something that really been working for us."

Ryan Fitzthum is pictured Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at C.H. Robinson in Sartell.
Ryan Fitzthum is pictured Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at C.H. Robinson in Sartell.

As a business owner himself, Fitzthum said the city needs to continue focusing on businesses that are already here in Sartell and emphasized the importance of residents, city staff and representatives working together to build a better future.

Fitzthum highlighted accomplishments over the past two years like plans for new mountain bike trails at the Sauk River Regional Park, new basketball amenities at Pinecone Central Park in honor of Tom Bearson, infrastructure improvements on the Sartell pedestrian bridge, new businesses coming to the Sartell River Crossings development and a reconstruction project on Stearns County Road 1/Riverside Avenue that will bring sidewalk improvements and more public access to the Mississippi River.

More:What's Sartell's plan for its original river crossing?

He said more commercial development in Sartell will help all city residents and diversify the tax base, which will help fund schools. Fitzthum also emphasized wanting to keep the "neighborhood feel" of the community and listen to feedback.

"We have to knock down the walls or the pillars that separate businesses and residents, with your local officials and city staff. We have five of us that are elected to make pretty impactful decisions for our community, right? Set our budget, set our tax rate," he said. "All of that impacts yourself, businesses. We're not just participating. We need your help. We need your feedback to let us know what's working, what's not working. And that's a direct ask."

Becca Most is a cities reporter with the St. Cloud Times. Reach her at 320-241-8213 or bmost@stcloudtimes.com. Follow her on Twitter at @becca_most

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This article originally appeared on St. Cloud Times: Support for local business main focus of Sartell state of city address